An television commercial for BT has been banned for misleading customers over broadband speeds.
In the advertisement, a voice-over said BT is "rolling out up to 20 meg speeds" to give "consistently faster broadband".
The Advertising Standards Authority, which received 17 complaints, said it had not seen sufficient evidence to support the claim and concluded that the advert was likely to mislead.
After the complaints were made, BT told the ASA that the sequence shown in the advert had not been intended to be an actual comparison.
The commercial - part of an ongoing campaign about "Adam and Jane" - showed Adam being shown around a property by an estate agent as he talked to his partner, Jane, on his mobile.
She was seen viewing the house online from her home computer, loading a website faster than the estate agent at peak time, before a voiceover said: "BT is rolling out up to 20 meg speeds to give you a consistently faster broadband throughout the day even at peak times."
A similar message was carried in radio and press adverts.
In reaching its decision, the ASA said: "Because we had not seen sufficient evidence to support the claim that BT's new broadband service was consistently faster than its existing 8Mb service even at peak times, we concluded that the ad was likely to mislead."
The advertising watchdog said viewers could expect the internet speed demonstrated by "Jane" to be available to them, adding that this was not the case.
It concluded: "We noted BT's new service was available to fewer than half of all households and the roll-out, increasing that figure to 75%, was anticipated to take around two years.
"We noted that a significant proportion of the population could not get the service at the time the ad appeared and therefore considered the ad should have made that clear. Because it did not, we concluded that it was likely to mislead."
The watchdog ruled that the adverts must not appear again in their current form.
In a statement, BT said: "We are disappointed by the ASA's adjudication.
"At the time the ads appeared, BT had just started rolling out a new up-to-20Mb broadband service across the country and we wanted to highlight the higher speeds available in newly enabled exchange areas offering customers consistently faster web browsing in comparison to BT's up-to-8Mb service.
"There was certainly no intention to mislead."
Article - www.waveguide.co.uk
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